The Awana Grand Prix™ is a Pinewood-Derby®-style racing event with a 45-year-plus track record of fun and excitement. Northside's race days are March 8th for the Sparks category and March 15th for the T&T and Open categories. Clubbers create their very own Grand Prix race cars from kits consisting of a block of wood and a set of wheels and axles. They then go head-to-head with other clubbers' cars on race day. The top designs and fastest cars receive special awards while all competing clubbers earn a participation ribbon. We invite non-churched family members (especially dads) to participate in fun event that involves their children (and a little woodworking).
AWANA - Grand Prix
March 18, 2020 @ 10:30 pm - 12:00 am
Buy your Race Kit!*
*Includes race entry fee
- Cars raced in previous years are not eligible. All participating cars must be built specifically for this race.
- Clubbers must use the axles, wheels and wood supplied in the kit. Additional features (windshields, weights, decals, etc.) can be added.
- The wheels should not be inset into block of wood. The lanes strip width specification is 13/4 inches. If wheels are inset they will not straddle the lane strip and cars cannot race.
- The Awana name must be visible on the side wall of the wheels. No modifications can be made to the car wheels to reduce the width, diameter or mass/weight.
- The front of the car should not come to a point which would make it difficult to set behind the starting peg. The front of the car should be low and not slope upward so that the car extends over the starting peg. The front of the car should not be notched so that any part of the car extends past the starting peg.
- The maximum allowable weight is 5 ounces. The maximum length is 7 inches. The maximum width is 23/4 inches. The maximum height is 3 inches. The chassis should not be lower than 3/8 of an inch from the ground.
- The car number should appear somewhere on the car, but it can be on the bottom.
- After registration and check-in no alterations of the car are allowed. This means that final preparation and lubrication must be done before check-in. Once the car passes inspection it will be taken directly to the pit table.
- All entrants must have participated in the design and/or building of their car. The car should not be totally designed and built by an adult. As much as possible, the builder of a car should be the only person that touches it or picks it up. Allow clubbers to place their own cars on the track prior to a race and to remove them after a race. If the starter notices a car is not properly aligned prior to a race, he or she should call the clubber back to adjust it.
- If a car jumps the track during the race, begin the race over. If a car jumps the track three times, it is eliminated. Begin the race again with the remaining cars.
These cars are designed to be fast on the track. They are built for aerodynamics and speed factors such as weight, finish and lubrication. Top three cars are awarded a trophy!
This group is for cars that look like actual automobiles, race cars, or trucks. Top three cars are awarded a trophy!
These cars do not look like vehicles. Some examples are cars shaped like bananas, boats, planes, musical instruments, candy bars or anything imaginable. Top three cars are awarded a trophy!
This category is exclusively for Sparkies (K5-2nd grade). All rules apply. Only one car may be entered per clubber.
This category is exclusively for T&T (3rd-6th grade). All rules apply. Only one car may be entered per clubber.
This category is for anyone to compete! All rules apply except we will allow previously raced cars in the speed racing competition (all design entries must be new for this event). Unlimited cars allowed per person. If racing a previously built car, a $5 entry fee applies.
Construction of Cars
The instructions are meant as a guide only. There are no limits to design or shape as long as the size and weight requirements are not exceeded. An internet search will yield volumes of advice about constructing a fast car or producing a memorable design. Check out these designs on Pinterest!
Any means can be used to shape the car including whittling, sawing, carving or sanding. Pre-shaped cars are available in the Awana catalog
A clubber can build the car with the help of a parent, grandparent, older sibling, guardian or adult. If a clubber cannot find anyone, a leader should provide any needed help.
Axles and wheels
Axles should be mounted straight and wheels should be aligned properly. Axles do not have to be mounted in the slots provided. Wheels can be cambered (angled to be closer together at the bottom than at the top) or inserted at any location or angle. If the slots are used, tap the axles in gently with a hammer. Use a drop of glue to secure them in place. The chassis should not be lower than 3/8 of an inch from the ground to avoid scraping on the lane strips. Rough edges can be sanded off the wheels. Wheel bearings, bushings, washers and springs are prohibited.
The maximum allowable weight is 5 ounces. There is no minimum weight. If cars are lighter than clubbers wish, they can add to the weight by drilling a hole or holes on the underside and filling with lead or other weights. Make sure additional weights are secure so they do not fall off the car during a race.
The maximum length is 7 inches. The maximum width is 2 3/4 inches. The maximum height is 3 inches.
Any liquid lubricant or powdered graphite may be used on the axles. Wipe off excess lubricant to keep the track clean and dry.
Paint and finish
Sand the car with medium-grade sandpaper, then add two coats of sealer. When the sealer dries, sand the car with fine-grade sandpaper. The best finish will be achieved by using several coats of paint and allowing sufficient drying time between coats. Additional luster can be added by waxing. Numbers can be added with paint or decals. The identifying number should appear somewhere on each car, but it can be written on the underside.
Clubbers can add additional decals, steering wheels, drivers, windshields, trim or anything else as long as the car does not exceed size and weight requirements. Starting devices are prohibited - cars must be freewheeling.
Also, here's a great video to explain how to build a fast car. Just remember, the video isn't specifically for our race and some of the tips don't work with our rules.